Tracking Ohio State transfer portal additions/departures, key returners (2024)

COLUMBUS — Perhaps Jake Diebler said it best after Ohio State’s season ended with a loss to Georgia in the NIT quarterfinals on March 26.

“Roster management is just a completely different landscape right now,” the new Buckeyes head coach said. “But, for us, retention’s going to be important.”

Ohio State has benefited and suffered from that “completely different landscape” so far this offseason with the head-turning addition of South Carolina star guard Meechie Johnson as well as the eyebrow-raising transfer of Buckeyes breakout guard Roddy Gayle Jr.

Lettermen Row is tracking all of Ohio State’s roster movement, in other words who is staying, who is going and who is joining the Buckeyes through the portal.

Let’s get into it.

Key Returners

PG Bruce Thornton: Thornton is a two-time captain. He started the first 63 games of his Buckeyes career. That was the longest such streak to kick off an Ohio State career since Michael Redd started all 96 games over his three-year career (1998-2000). Thornton led the Buckeyes in scoring last season with 15.7 points per game. He also finished second nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (4:1).

F Devin Royal: Royal came on for Ohio State in the back half of his freshman campaign. And in his final nine games, he averaged 8.4 points and 3.6 rebounds. The Pickerington Central product and 2023 Ohio Mr. Basketball turned into a low-post scoring threat for the Buckeyes. He helped Ohio State snap its program-record, 17-game road losing streak with a season-high 14 points on 6-of-6 shooting at Michigan State.

G/F Evan Mahaffey: Mahaffey came off the bench his freshman year at Penn State, but he did a bit of everything as a starter during his first season at Ohio State, often making contributions that didn’t show up on the stat sheet. Although Mahaffey averaged only 4.3 points per game, he recorded a 6.7% offensive rebounding percentage and the highest steal percentage (2.8%) of any Buckeyes player consistently in the rotation, according to Sports Reference. His versatility on the defensive end and his effort and selfless play style on the offensive end shouldn’t be taken for granted.

Portal Entrants

G/F Scotty Middleton (transferring to Seton Hall): Middleton averaged 4.4 points per game this season but 6.3 points per game after Diebler took over as head coach. During that eight-game span, Middleton shot a blistering 65% from beyond the arc. In other words, he converted 13-of-20 3-pointers. He established himself as a 3-and-D contributor early in the season but then struggled during the Buckeyes’ Big Ten slide, in addition to missing time with ankle injuries and a one-game suspension for violation of team rules.

G Roddy Gayle Jr. (transferring to Michigan): Gayle started 35 games in Year 2 after starting 11 games his first year with the program, including the final 10, a stretch that culminated in him averaging 14.7 points over the Buckeyes’ last three games in the Big Ten Tournament. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound guard from Niagara Falls, New York, averaged 13.5 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game in 2023-24. As a freshman, he averaged only 4.6 points, 1.6 rebounds and 0.9 assists per game in nearly half the minutes.

G Bowen Hardman (transferring to Akron): Hardman played in only seven games as a freshman. The sharpshooting reserve saw increased playing time as a sophom*ore, appearing in 18 games and shooting 9-of-21 from beyond the arc. He burst onto the scene Jan. 23 at Nebraska, where he scored 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting in just eight minutes of action. Hardman went on to play in 10 more Big Ten regular season games, notably scoring seven points and playing a career-high 21 minutes in a loss to Wisconsin on Feb. 13.

C Felix Okpara (transferring to Tennessee): Okpara became one of the best rim protectors in the Big Ten. He ranked second in the league in blocks per game (2.4) this past season. The 6-foot-11 Okpara put on 15 pounds last offseason and held up better down low with a 235-pound frame as a sophom*ore. His offensive game is starting to take a jump, too. Although he averaged only 6.6 points per game, he scored in double digits nine times, including in each of the Buckeyes’ three NIT games. Three weeks after announcing his intent to return to the Buckeyes in 2024-25, Okpara decided to enter the transfer portal.

C Zed Key (transferring to Dayton): Key spent four seasons with the Buckeyes and has one year of eligibility remaining. He’ll be remembered for his patented “finger guns” and “raise the roof” celebrations and his valiant performances in upset wins over No. 1 Duke (Nov. 30, 2021) and No. 2 Purdue (Feb. 18, 2024). Key started a combined 46 games across his sophom*ore and junior seasons but got the nod only twice as a senior, as Okpara emerged as the Buckeyes’ go-to five man. Key’s best season came in 2022-23, during which he averaged 10.8 points and 7.5 rebounds, but he was eventually limited by a shoulder injury that ultimately required season-ending surgery.

Portal Additions

PG Meechie Johnson (South Carolina): After reclassifying and graduating early from Garfield Heights High School, Johnson joined Ohio State midseason in 2020-21 but then started just five games in two seasons with the Buckeyes. The Cleveland native went on to star at South Carolina, where he was a top-two scorer for the Gameco*cks each of the last two seasons. This season, Johnson averaged a team-best 14.1 points per game, not to mention 4.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game while helping South Carolina back to the NCAA Tournament. Now, Johnson is putting the scarlet and gray back on for his final year.

C Aaron Bradshaw (Kentucky): The 7-foot-1, 226-pound Bradshaw averaged 4.9 points, 3.3 rebounds and 0.7 blocks in 13.8 minutes per game while shooting 57.6% from the field for Kentucky as a freshman in 2023-24. Bradshaw clocked out as the On3 Industry Ranking’s No. 4 overall prospect, and No. 1 center, in the 2023 recruiting class. His senior year at Camden High School, he averaged 12.1 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. He put up similar stats for NJ Scholars on the EYBL circuit. Bradshaw’s Kentucky debut was delayed while he recovered from an offseason foot injury. He made 10 starts in the 26 games he played for the Wildcats, but his role declined down the stretch of the season.

G Micah Parrish (San Diego State): Parrish, a Detroit native, began his career at nearby Oakland, where he spent two years before transferring to San Diego State and helping the Aztecs reach the National Championship in 2023 and the Sweet 16 in 2024. While Parrish shot sub-40% from the floor in both of his seasons at SDSU, he’s a career 42.8% shooter with a 33.2% average clip from long range over the last four years. The 6-foot-6 guard averaged 9.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game this past season at SDSU.

F Sean Stewart (Duke): Stewart made a dream come true playing for Duke last season. But he entered the transfer portal with an eye toward playing a bigger role in 2024-25. Stewart averaged only 8.3 minutes and, as a result, just 2.6 points, 3.2 rebounds, 0.5 steals and 0.5 blocks per game as a freshman. Although he played a part in the Blue Devils’ Elite Eight run, the On3 Industry Ranking’s No. 17 overall prospect in the 2023 class didn’t have a chance to showcase his full skill set. Stewart believes he’ll have an opportunity to do so in the Ohio State frontcourt. He committed to the Buckeyes out of the portal after seriously considering the scarlet and gray as a high school recruit years ago.

Tracking Ohio State transfer portal additions/departures, key returners (2024)


Who did Ohio State lose in the transfer portal? ›

Ohio State lost Kyion Grayes to the transfer portal. The receiver was a former four-star recruit in the 2022 recruiting class. He only appeared in one game for the Buckeyes. That came back in 2022 against Toledo.

How many Ohio State players entered the transfer portal? ›

8 ranked transfer class with their six additions to the roster that were made in the winter portal period. will keep track of the goings on during this 15-day window here, our Ohio State Buckeyes Transfer Portal Tracker.

Who entered transfer portal from Mississippi State? ›

Defensive lineman Willy Denaud, Caleb Bryant, defensive backs Trent Singleton, Luke Evans, Avery Sledge, linebacker Khalid Moore, wideout Justin Robinson, quarterback Mike Wright and punter Keelan Crimmins have also entered the portal this spring.

Who entered the transfer portal for Texas Longhorns? ›

Brooks is the eighth Longhorn to enter the portal since the beginning of April, joining Derrian Brown, S'Maje Burrell, Billy Walton III, Payton Kirkland, J'Mond Tapp, Zac Swanson, Savion Red, and Ky Woods. I want to thank God, My family, and the Longhorn Nation for everything," Brooks said in a statement on X.

Who did Michigan get in the transfer portal? ›

Michigan football transfer portal
  • Former UNLV CB Ricky Johnson commits to Michigan. ...
  • Michigan State safety Jaden Mangham commits to Michigan. ...
  • Transfer S Wesley Walker commits to Michigan. ...
  • All-American Albany transfer CB Aamir Hall commits to Michigan. ...
  • Report: Michigan hosting FCS All-American CB transfer Aamir Hill.

How many Brutus Buckeyes have there been? ›

According to another website dedicated to the mascot, though six students take on the role, there isn't actually more than one Brutus Buckeye.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Fredrick Kertzmann

Last Updated:

Views: 5477

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (46 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Fredrick Kertzmann

Birthday: 2000-04-29

Address: Apt. 203 613 Huels Gateway, Ralphtown, LA 40204

Phone: +2135150832870

Job: Regional Design Producer

Hobby: Nordic skating, Lacemaking, Mountain biking, Rowing, Gardening, Water sports, role-playing games

Introduction: My name is Fredrick Kertzmann, I am a gleaming, encouraging, inexpensive, thankful, tender, quaint, precious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.